WhatsApp on Friday said it is rolling out its payments services in India after receiving nod from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
In 2018, the Facebook-owned company had started testing its UPI-based payments service in India, which allows users to utilise the messaging platform to send and receive money. The testing was limited to about a million users as it waited for regulatory approvals to come in.
On Thursday, NPCI – which runs the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) used for real-time payments between peers or at merchants’ end while making purchases – allowed WhatsApp to start its payments service in the country in a “graded” manner, starting with a maximum registered user base of 20 million in UPI.
Starting from Friday, people across India will be able to send money through WhatsApp. This secure payments experience makes transferring money just as easy as sending a message. People can safely send money to a family member or share the cost of goods from a distance without having to exchange cash in person or going to a local bank,” WhatsApp said in a blogpost.
It added that the payments feature has been designed in partnership with NPCI using UPI, an India-first, real-time payment system that enables transactions with over 160 supported banks.
In India, WhatsApp – which counts India as its biggest market with over 400 million users – will compete with players like Paytm, Google Pay, Walmart-owned PhonePe and Amazon Pay.
WhatsApp said it is working with five banks in India – ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, the State Bank of India, and Jio Payments Bank – and people can send money on WhatsApp to anyone using a UPI supported app.
There is no fee… because its WhatsApp, you know its secure and private too. With UPI, India has created something truly special and is opening up a world of opportunities for micro and small businesses that’s the backbone of the Indian economy,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a video message. He added that the payments service will be available in 10 Indian language versions of WhatsApp.
UPI processed over 2.07 billion transactions in October (worth Rs 3.86 lakh crore), up from over 1.8 billion in the previous month, as per data from NPCI. ( IE )